Tricks and Treats: A Collection of Spooky Stories by Connecticut Authors (Books & Boos Press) is now out in the world for its second day—and I’m continuing to shamefully plug away. Today, I’m joined by fellow contributor and writing friend Dan Foley.
Dan grew up in New Jersey and then spent over seven years in the U.S. Navy. Much of that time was spent on nuclear submarines. He credits both of these factors for his slightly disturbed sense of humor and writing style. He is the author of the novels Death’s Companion and Abandoned; The Whispers of Crows, a collection of short stories; and the novellas Intruder and Reunion. He has also published in various anthologies and magazines in the U.S. Canada, England and Australia. Dan currently makes his home in Connecticut.
From the publisher:
Some of Connecticut’s finest authors—from the eighteen hundreds through today—showcase their spookiest tales in this collection. Discover some lesser-known works from literary greats Twain, Gilman, Stowe, and Brainard, and chilling stories from contemporary authors Crandall, Foley, Longo, Munson, Schoonover, Strong, and Valeri. This collection will make you proud to be a Nutmegger. “Connecticut authors, you scare the hell out of me, but I grow to love you—more and more, with every creepy tale.” ~ From the foreword by Rob Watts, author of AMERICANA and THE CROOKED ROADS THROUGH CEDAR GROVE
Now, Dan shares some scares …
John Valeri: What inspired your contributions to Tricks and Treats?
Dan Foley: Both “A trick of a Treat” and “The Bag” deal with the wonder, excitement and the possibility of things that go bump in the night for adolescents at Halloween. Who among us didn’t wonder if witches, ghosts and goblins might actually wander the streets on Halloween when we were kids? These two stories play with the idea that the supernatural is possible on that special night.
JV: To what do you credit your interest in dark fiction – and what purpose do such stories serve?
DF: Dark fiction, along with Sci-Fi and epic fantasy, has always held a special allure for me. It takes me out of the everyday world and challenges my imagination. But, whereas Sci-Fi and fantasy provide an escape, horror provides a delicious chill the others don’t. When I read/write horror I want to be disturbed. I want it to stay with me long after I’ve reached the end.
JV: Tell us about your ties to Connecticut. How have these influenced your work, if at all?
DF: My wife and I came to Connecticut in 1968 shortly after we were married. I was in the Navy at the time and we fell in love with the state. For me, it reminded me of the New Jersey I grew up in before it morphed into the overcrowded parking lot it is today. I’ve traveled to every state except Alaska and N. Dakota as well as dozens of foreign countries. I choose to live here because we still love it and can’t imagine living anywhere else. As far as influencing my work, I think the sense of history that infuses Connecticut and all of New England inspires my work.
JV: This anthology is Halloween-themed. Why does this particular holiday make for a good backdrop?
DF: The whole concept of Halloween is already primed and ready for a good horror story. It can range from the lighter stories of adolescence to the darker, more horrifying tales for older readers. Anything goes on Halloween.
JV: For those looking for recommended reading in the genre, who/what would you recommend (and why)?
DF: I’m going to stick with Halloween and recommend Mister October, a two volume anthology in memory of Rick Hautala, one of my favorite authors. The contributors read like a list of Who’s Who in Horror.
JV: Leave us with a teaser: What comes next?
DF: Next up for me is my novel, Wolf’s Tale. It’s a ghost story that takes place in New Orleans and the bayous of Louisiana. Wolf’s Tale is a standalone sequel to my novella, Intruder. Wolf’s Tale is scheduled for publication on October 1, from NECON E-Books. It will be available as both an eBook and paperback.
With thanks to Dan Foley for paying a virtual visit to the blog today.